Pastor Adam Kareus

Adam Kareus has been the Pastor of River Valley since 2017 and before that he was the associate pastor for several years. He and Kacee have been married since 2010 and their first child, Titus, was born in 2012,their daughter, Jillian was born in 2017, and Theodore in 2022. Kacee is an elementary school assistant principal for the Fort Smith School District.

Adam has a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Masters of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He also earned his Doctorate of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2021. He ministered to youth with YoungLife for seven years and served as an associate pastor for a few years before coming to River Valley.

His passions in ministry are building solid relationships through discipleship, studying the Bible and preaching. As lead pastor Adam seeks to equip the congregation for ministry and helps guide the direction of the church alongside the Elders. 

Children's Pastor

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown serves as an elder at RVCC as well as the Children's pastor. As Children's pastor he provides oversight to all ministry relating to the children (nursery through 6th grade). 

Bruce has a heart for children knowing the Lord and understanding their faith, and this can be seen in how the whole children's ministry operates. He leads a team of dedicated volunteers spread through 4 rooms on a Sunday morning and is always interested in connecting with people who want to be involved in the children's ministry. 

If you have any questions about the Children's ministry you can contact Bruce by email:

Minister of GTD

Chrissy Ernst

Chrissy Ernst has been a member at River Valley for a long while. She started on staff in fall, 2011 as our 'Minister of GTD' (getting things done).

She is responsible for coordinating volunteers in several areas, providing administrative support, and helping Pastor Adam, our elders, and members provide care and follow-up to guests and regulars! (and lots of 'other stuff' 'as needed')

She and Charlie have been married 18 years after meeting in a park in Winslow, AZ.

They have three kids - Heather, Crystal is, and Christopher.

She loves singing & started early, singing 'Delta Dawn' at the Elks Club at age 5.

You'd get brownie points for taking her to El Super Taco, she likes to waterski, and enjoys dancing with Charlie and others in a team that does line dancing at nursing homes.

She was born on Christmas and made Bill Engvold's dad mad - because he was the delivering doctor!

She says, "Coming on staff has been life-changing for me and my family. It's a wonderful blessing to be part of what God's doing in the church!"

Email her at

Worship Director

Ty & Keely Goff

Ty & Keely came on as part-time worship directors Nov. of 2022. They have a passion for music and for leading the congregation in worship. 

Youth Minister

Dan Ackart

Dan is the youth minister at RVCC in which he oversees the youth group (7th-12th grade). Dan has been leading youth for many years in various churches, and has been at RVCC for the last few years. 

Dan desires that all the youth of the church have a place to come and connect. He wants them to make their faith their own as well as have the freedom to ask questions and grow. 

Dan is married to Shannon and they have 3 kids, Sammy, Owen, and Kayla. 

If you have any questions about the youth you can contact Dan:


We are a Elder directed church with a team of Elders who along with the lead pastor help guide and direct the ministry. This team of elders meet the biblical qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 and confirmed by the congregational membership. 

Adam Blalock

Bruce Sears

Dale Bedell

Bruce Brown

John Kareus